I remember like it was yesterday. I was on an airport bus heading to a downtown San Francisco hotel for a meeting on a sunny afternoon in May. It was the type of day that put San Francisco on the map. Cool and sunny. Not a cloud to be seen. Bustling activity on every street corner. Just perfect.
Looking out the window I spotted a jogger trudging up a hill wearing a sweatshirt that read “ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.” It was gray with blue letters, which made it stand out. It immediately caught my attention and I remember wanting a sweatshirt like that.
I remember thinking to myself, “Attitude may not be everything, but it is miles ahead of whatever is in second place.”
Years later, I still find myself crediting one’s attitude as a true differentiator among people slugging it out in their own competitive arena. But like everything else in life, this differentiator has two sides. A good attitude positions you in front of the pack. A bad attitude comes attached with all sorts of negative labels.
Like many worthless pieces of free advice, “exhibiting a good attitude” is easier said than done. Suggesting to somebody that they should have a good attitude because the choice is theirs is like saying to a furious spouse “don’t be silly.” (This more often than not fuels the fire and can result in all sorts of hurt.) Try advising a person who has a genuine fear for flying to “get over it” and expect that you have just solved the conundrum. (Dumb!)
I agree that one’s attitude is a frame of mind and is sculpted by one’s current relationship with their immediate surroundings. Sometimes these conditions are less than appealing and do little to warrant a fake smile or an ill-timed bounce in one’s step. What the world needs is more genuine people and less plastic fakes.
I am reminded of the lyrics in a song made famous by The Byrds, Turn, Turn, Turn. “For everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven.”
That said, however, you are much better off finding reasons to be positive rather than negative. A good place to start is to reflect on all the good in your life. For me, I begin every day counting my fingers since I do a lot of work in the country. If I count ten I figure I have another day to “do my thing.”
Some feel that a positive attitude is simply a mental choice. This may be true, but identifying specific reasons to feel good about your life makes more sense to me.
When you find yourself slipping into a funk (which you will from time to time) focus on a project you have been working on and see it through to fruition.
The truth is that you are probably discounting your many accomplishments in favor of bemoaning a few of your recent failures. As popular as this exercise in futility may be, I would like to suggest that you begin documenting your success stories. This is sure to bring a smile to your face and you will begin to appreciate your value which will result in an attitude worth sharing.
To put the concept of attitude in other words, “Learning to appreciate your worth may not be everything, but it sure is miles ahead of being a boring, whining, negative slug.”
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.